Anonymous takes down Visa.com in WikiLeaks protest

It's the latest in a string of takedowns that also hit Mastercard and Blogger

A loosely organized group of Internet hacktivists took down Visa's website Wednesday, after organizing a similar attack on MasterCard.

The group, called Anonymous, has been encouraging volunteers to download software called LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon), which lets them centrally control these systems and direct them into a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). The point of the attacks is to put pressure on financial companies that recently cut ties with the WikiLeaks website over its planned publication of more than a quarter million U.S. Department of State classified cables.

After successfully knocking Mastercard.com offline, the group decided to attack Visa.com around 1 p.m. Pacific time. The site was quickly knocked offline.

"IT'S DOWN! KEEP FIRING!!!" the group said in a Twitter message a few minutes later.

The Mastercard website went offline when about 400 computers targeted the LOIC software at it. By the time Visa was hit, however, there were more than 2,000 people using the software, according to Paul Mutton, a security analyst with Netcraft. Visa was a much harder target to take down, because unlike Mastercard.com, it was distributed over the Akamai Technologies network. This meant that more Visa-hosting computers had to be overwhelmed to finally knock the site offline.

Reached shortly after 1 p.m. Pacific time, a Visa representative was unable to immediately comment on the attack.

WikiLeaks supporters have hit the sites of other companies that have cut ties with WikiLeaks, including payment processor PostFinance, PayPal and EveryDNS.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityddosvisawikileaksfinancegovernmentindustry verticalsinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?